My Second Life

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It had been four years. Laura had been gone that long and it still seemed like yesterday to me. I am Bill. I was married to Laura for twelve years. Twelve wonderful and happy years. Then in one terrible blow it had ended. Laura had been taken from me by a stupid accident.

She had gone to the convenience store for a few things to finish off dinner. She would just be gone a few minutes. The next thing I knew a policeman was knocking at our door with our local minister. There had been an accident. Laura was gone. I can’t remember much after that. She had pulled out in front of a semi-truck. He couldn’t stop in time. Killed instantly they said.

Numbness gripped me for over a year. Friends tried to get me out and about. I just sat at home and brooded. Insurance money sat unspent in an account. I went to work still…each day quietly hoping that I was having a bad nightmare. One day I woke up and realized that Laura was gone. She was not coming back.

It was a Friday, I called into work and took a sick day. I sat around and cried, suffering a rude awakening. I had been angry and lost for so long it seemed. I determined that from that day on I would live. Live as best I could because life was too short.

Still the emptiness in me haunted and tormented as I went forth living. Two years later, I had dated a few women. Nothing. I felt nothing and acted like I felt. Cold and alone. I could see it was me, not them. I wasn’t going to find anyone else to replace my Laura. I guess deep inside I couldn’t let go of her at all.

One day, I just gave up trying to find someone else. It wasn’t working out and I hated making others feel miserable on our ‘dates’. I spent more and more time just walking around the city. I would visit the museums, the parks, libraries, anything to occupy my time.

I noticed that I had been pushing my walks to go on the fringes of ‘safe’ and gone to the parts of town that most people would not travel on foot by themselves. Nobody bothered me. Nobody came near me or threatened me. I was left alone.

On one walk I noticed a young girl in cut-off jeans and a very skimpy top hanging around the stairs to a rundown tenement building. She just looked like she didn’t belong there. White skinned, blonde hair, nice body with a very nice chest. A large black man came out and started to talk to her. She looked afraid of him, yet she stood close to him. Handing him some cash he gave her a small packet and turned and left.

She glanced at me with the look of a ghost afraid of it’s own shadow. Putting the packet in her pocket she started to walk near me as I went on my way. Just behind me and to one side I could catch sight of her from time to time. We got to the park and she kept close to me. There were some bad apples hanging around there, so I knew why she was closer to me. I was her protection of sorts.

We walked around the park and on the other side she caught up to me.

“Hey mister. Would you like some company? Uh…Your not a cop or anything are you?” I was a bit taken aback for a second. At first I wasn’t sure she was talking to me. Then as realization dawned on her ‘offer’ I was a bit speechless.

“I’m not sure I know what you want.”

“Well mister, I think I know what you would like. I am worth it too. I can show you a real good time…if you know what I mean.”

“Young lady, you should be in school not out here…propositioning strangers.”

“Hey, you aren’t my dad. I just offered to help make you feel good for a bit not be lectured about how I live.”

She turned away and left me standing there. I had just been propositioned by a girl young enough to have been my daughter, if I had one. Did I look so alone that she could see something in me that I couldn’t see myself? Or had I just looked like some easy money for her to score?

That encounter stuck in my mind all that weekend. I was a bit stunned that someone as young as her would be turning tricks for a pimp. I found myself wondering about her and her past. What had made her go this way? What had caused her to begin selling her body for cash? Drugs?

The following week I became engrossed with work and getting some contracts signed. After each work day I would go home and work on the details, then go to bed. I didn’t walk around at all being so busy trying to get everything done. That weekend the contracts were signed. I took the clients out for dinner. We went to a nice restaurant and as we ate I saw her. She walked by on the street, dressed in a very tight, short skirt, low-cut skin tight top with no bra. She looked like a cheap hooker on the prowl.

She was only in my sight for a short time. After dinner and a few drinks I saw my clients to their hotel and then I headed home. On my drive I went out of my way a bit and drove down the street where I had first seen her with her pimp. There she was, standing on the street corner, looking like a little girl trying to look like an adult.

I pulled over, a reflexive action on my otele gelen escort part. I didn’t know what to say, what I was doing. I was lost as she looked. She came over to the passenger window. I rolled it down as she leaned in.

“What’cha looking for mister…Oh, it’s you. What do you want man?”

“Um…I don’t know. Talk? Can you talk to me?”

“Hafta charge ya, ya know mister? I charge by the hour…or half hour. Fifty will getcha half an hour.”

“Never mind. Sorry to have bothered you.”

“What the fuck’s you’re problem man? Fuck off fucker!”

She stood up and angrily walked away from the car. I was stunned at her speech and her reaction. Then I remembered that she was a hooker, and to her time was money.

I rolled up my window and drove away. I was troubled with my actions. Why had I felt a need to pull over to talk to her? What was I trying to do? I went home and sat around wondering if I had become so desperate that I was about to resort to hookers for my sexual pleasure. Searching deep inside myself I realized that was not why.

I slept the troubled sleep of old the next few nights. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. One day at work as I opened my desk drawer it hit me. She looked an awful lot like Laura had at that age. Same hair, same breasts, same body. How had I been so blind to have not realized this right away?

I didn’t see her around after that for quite some time. Then, one night as I took a walk I came across a huddled mass in the park sitting on a bench. Cuts and bruises all over her face and shoulders. Crying into dirty clothing and looking like hell.

I sat next to her, not touching, but close. She looked at me with a mixture of fear and suspicion. I didn’t say a word. Sitting there I began to feel like a fool. What was I doing? I didn’t know. She continued crying and then sobbing a bit she began to get up. I held out my hand, offering her my hanky.


“You look hurt. Can I take you to the hospital?”

“FUCK YOU! I can take care of myself. Go away. Leave me alone.”

“I was just trying to help.”

“Yeah, sure, just like Alphonse. I’ll help you little girl, then next thing you know here I am a whore on drugs getting beat up for fun by my johns.”

“That’s not what I meant. I want to help you. What can I do for you?”

“Just leave me alone. You are all alike. Men use women like me and give us nothing but pain. Go away and leave me alone!”

“Look, you’re hurt and obviously without a roof over your head. I have some money…not a lot with me, but take it. At least get a motel room and something to eat.”

Grabbing the money out of my hand she looked at me, then turned and ran into the night. I sat there for a bit thinking. I questioned my motives and then my actions. I was lost in thought when a shadow fell over me. Looking up I saw a large man standing in front of me.

“Hey man…you seen a sweet young thing around here? Blonde, short skirt, nice tits?”

“No I haven’t. Is she someone important to you?”

“Ha hah hah…no man, not important. She’s just one’o my whores ya know? Alphonse has the best white whores in town.”

“So, you’re her pimp then?”

“Yeah, that’s what I am. Lil bitch ran out on me earlier tonight. I needs to teach her some manners. Can’t be leaving the johns ya know what I mean?”

“Perhaps she doesn’t want to work for you anymore…Alphonse.”

“Oh, you don’t get it do ya? She has to work for me or she ain’t working at all. That’s the rule ya know? My turf, my girls, my whores. Them’s the rules.”

He left me sitting there. I was sure that if he found her she would get hurt even more. I had to find her before Alphonse did. I got up and headed off in the direction I had seen her running to. I walked for an hour, never seeing her at all. Giving up I turned and started to head home. I decided to take a short cut and go down a street I had never been on. As I walked along in the darkness I heard something in the shadows near a dumpster. Listening I realized it was someone crying. A girl.

I went over and in the dim light I saw it was her. Crouched on her knees in the corner of the building. I reached down and took her by an arm.

“You are coming with me. To my place. You need a bath and some sleep in a nice warm bed.”

“Why are you doing this? Don’t you know what I am? What do you want from me? What, are you some kind of kinky bastard?”

“Look, even I don’t know why I am offering to help you. Lord knows you haven’t been very friendly to me. I just can’t leave you on the street for Alphonse to find later. Come on. In the morning you can think about what you want. Right now you need a bath and some rest. Also something on those bruises.”

I pulled her along with me. She followed reluctantly, but docile enough. As we neared my block she began to pull back.

“I can’t. I can’t go with you. You live in a nice hood. I can’t pendik escort be here. Your neighbors, they will not like me.”

“Hey, I could care less what my neighbors think. Come on…you’ve made it this far. I may have some clothes that will fit you. My late wife’s, but I think you two were the same size.”

I got her to my house with a bit more arguing, and in the bathtub. I left here alone and went to the closet. My wife’s things were still hanging there. I hadn’t been able to remove them as of yet. I liked the smell of her in those clothes. I found a pair of jeans, and a blouse. Looking around in a drawer or two I found a bra and panties too.

I dropped the clothes off at the bathroom door and then went to the kitchen to make up a late dinner for two. Just as I finished, she came in and sat at the table. Clean and fresh, even with the cuts and bruises here and there, she still looked quite beautiful. Her hair in a large ponytail hanging down her back. I noticed that she had not worn the bra.

“So, was your bath soothing for you?”

“Yeah. Why did you bring me to your home? You’re not going to be a kinky bastard now are you?”

“No, I’m not a ‘kinky bastard’ as you say. I just wanted to try to help you in some way. You seem…that is to say…look, I just wanted to help you because you looked like someone I… who needed it. That’s all. Besides, if I were a kinky bastard like you are thinking, do you think I’d tell you that?”

“Yeah? Well, most people don’t help like you do. The other day…you stopped by in your car…what was up with that?”

“I honestly don’t know. I guess I wanted to talk to you. Maybe I am curious why you are doing…why you…look, I’ll show you to your room. If you need anything during the night just feel free to get what you want.”

I showed her to the spare bedroom. While she was looking around, I got some more of my wife’s clothes out and took them to her.

“Your wife was just my size. Where is she? Did she leave you for someone else or something?”

“No. She um…passed away a few years ago.”

“You still have her things in your room? Man, that’s fucked up. You should have gotten rid of that stuff as quickly as you could. Not good to have things like that hanging around to remind you.”

“Well, thank you for your advice Dr.. I’ll be sure to take that to heart tomorrow. Good night. I’ll make breakfast in the morning if you want.”

Her flippant diagnosis of my problem irritated me and I spoke sharply to her.

“Hey, look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be so…well…mean. Um…thanks too. For everything.”

“Yeah. Good night.”

“Night…what’s your name anyway? I mean, you have been helping me so well here, We should at least know each other’s name. Mine’s Shannon.”

“Well Shannon, I’m Russell. Sleep well.”

I went to bed that night with a mixed heart. Part of me was angry at her snippy little commentary on my having not gotten rid of my wife’s things. Like I could just throw her things out just like that and not have it bother me. Her things were my only connection with her now and I still missed her so much still.

The other thing that was bothering me was why I had reached out to help a young woman who was probably a druggie and definitely a hooker. Could I sleep safely tonight at all?

I slept roughly and several times I got up and walked by the spare room checking on her. From what I could tell, she slept very well all night. Just at daybreak I slept a bit then got upd started breakfast.

Shannon came into the kitchen just as I was about halfway finished making our morning meal. I had made bacon, eggs, pancakes, and cut up some fresh fruit. She looked around as I set the table and finally started talking to me.

“Good morning Russell. Or would you prefer Russ?”

“You may call me either. Laura, my late wife, used to call me Russ. It works.”

“Do you miss her? Your late wife I mean. She’s been gone for how long?”

“Three years now. So, are you hungry? Breakfast is served.”

I cut the conversation since it was uncomfortable for me. She was way too much interested in my past and I was not interested in explaining anything to her about my keeping Laura’s things like I had.

As she ate she looked around at the kitchen. I could see an interest in her eyes. I could tell that she liked the way everything looked.

“You keep a pretty clean house for a guy.”

“Thanks. Not a much of anything else for me to do when I’m not working.”

“So…you seeing anyone? You know, dating?”

“I dated a bit…gave it up.”

“You must have loved her a lot.” “Yeah. You want some more pancakes or bacon?”

“No. Why do you change the subject every time I mention your wife?”

“I don’t.”

“Yes you do. Too painful yet? You must have been a close couple. Not like my mom and dad. I’ll bet it would have been great to be your daughter.”

“We didn’t rus escort have any children. Laura had a physical problem that made it so she couldn’t get pregnant.”

“Oh. That’s too bad. I can’t have kids either. A john beat me pretty bad one night put me in the hospital. I was bleeding pretty bad down there, found out that he had messed me up enough that I will never have kids.”

“Why? Why do you do what you do when it causes you so much pain?”

“Hey, gotta live ya know? Alphonse used to take pretty good care of me but he has some new girls now so I am down on his list. I don’t bring in as much as I used to. Getting too old or maybe to used up.”

I was stunned at how matter of fact she was talking about her life of prostitution. She acted like it was no big deal, that people in her line of work got used up fast. She couldn’t have been much past seventeen if that old.

“Do you want out? Would you like to go back to school and get a degree or learn a skill other than…um…”

“Hooking? Fucking for money? I have a good skill. I can fuck and suck with the best of them. It’s what I do.”

“You don’t want to find something else a little…shall I say…safer?”

“Once I wanted to be an engineer. My dad laughed at me. Said women were only good for one thing only and that was having babies.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I think you would have made a great engineer.”

“How would you know that? You’ve only seen me as what I am…a hooker. How could you think that I would have made a great engineer anyway?”

“I don’t know. My wife, Laura…she was an engineer. Mechanical engineer. A damn good one too. You remind me of her.”

“Yeah…I saw her picture in the living room. Is that why you want to help me? I look like your wife? You want me to pretend to be her? Take you to bed and hug you close…kissing…touching you…just like she did?”

“NO. You can’t…she was…I’m not looking for a replacement for my wife. You may look like her in some strange way, but I do not want to be intimate with you like that.”

This young girl was upsetting me greatly. I did not fully understand why I had reached out to help her at first, and even now I was wondering why. Shannon had a way of directly asking questions that seemed to drive to the heart of me.

“Oh…afraid you’ll catch some disease? I am STD free…well as far as I know anyway. Look, I need to repay you for the clothes and taking care of me.”

She stood up and began to strip her clothes off. I turned away and left the kitchen wanting to be away as far as I could get from her. Deep inside I wanted to…have her. She reminded me so much of Laura that I couldn’t help myself. I knew that she wasn’t Laura though, and that she was far too young too.

I went into my bedroom and waited for a bit. I heard her go into the living room and turn on the TV. Thinking that she had given up trying to ‘pay me back’ I walked out only to see that she was stark naked laying on the couch spread legged. Her hands were in her crotch, playing with herself.

Her pussy was shaved, and I could see that she was very wet there as well. She looked up into my eyes and then lifted her hands up and out towards me. Her breasts were heaving, nipples hard as she sat there showing me everything she had to offer. “Come over here and help a girl out will ya?”

“No…you have the wrong idea. I just wanted to help you. You were hurt. You just needed someone to help you out. I don’t want to…to…have you that way.”

“Oh really? Then why are your pants tented out so far? Pickle in your pocket? I can see that you need a woman. Come on…I won’t bite. Hell…I won’t even charge you.”

She jumped up and began to stalk towards me. I backed up. I felt the bedroom door at my back and I knew that was the last place I should be headed to. I turned and walked quickly into the kitchen, going right to the sink. I busied myself with the dishes, putting them in the dishwasher.

I was shaking. I had wanted her. I had wanted to take her in my arms, hold her close to me. Lay her down on the bed and…I shook my head. My mind was mixed up now. Why had I decided to offer to help her anyway?

She stood in the door to the kitchen, naked. Her face smiling at my discomfort. She was holding her breasts up and out, licking her lips. She had no shame at all.

“Look. You misunderstand why I helped you. I just wanted to…”

“You wanted to be close to someone that reminded you of your wife…Laura. You wanted to have your wife with you again. I can be her for you if you want. I won’t mind. I’d even like it. I think you would take care of me and not hurt me. So why don’t you come on over here and have me? I’m willing.”

“No. I can’t. That’s not why I helped you. Yes you reminded me of my late wife. I just can’t…you are not…please…don’t.”

She gave up then. She sighed and turned to walk into the guest bedroom. Later she showed up dressed in Laura’s jeans and an old white shirt. She looked quite beautiful and even a bit happy under that facade of toughness.

“Thanks for the clothes. They fit me pretty good. Your wife must have been exactly my size. So…you miss her quite a bit yet huh?”

“Yes. I miss her quite a bit.”

“Why don’t you move on? Find someone else? There’s a lot of fish in that sea you know.”

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